Pad Thai is one of my favorite dishes of all time. The tang of lime, crunch of peanuts, savory noodles – it’s my go-to at any new Thai restaurant. Ross requested Pad Thai for dinner last week and, after scouring about a hundred recipes, it seemed like all of them required specialty ingredients. I’m sure that using one of those recipes would yield a more authentic taste, but I couldn’t really picture dragging my toddler and baby across town to an Asian market where I was unfamiliar with the layout, restrooms, and exit strategy. So I wanted ingredients I could easily find at Safeway or, better yet, my pantry.
I came up with this recipe and it is really delicious, but you could hardly call it authentic. It lacks tamarind paste, rice noodles, tofu (due to my sucking at cooking tofu, not availability), and bean sprouts. But if you’re looking for a noodle dish that’s spicy, a little sweet, and has a lovely peanutty taste, then this is your dish. You could certainly substitute any protein here – I had intended to make it with shrimp, but the ones at our store looked pitiful this week, so I used two leftover grilled chicken breasts.
Chicken Pad-ish Thai
12 oz. linguine noodles (or spaghetti or vermicelli)
1/3 cup fish sauce
2T sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2T lime juice
1 tsp sriracha
1/2 cup water
1 shallot (or half an onion, if that’s what you have)
3 cloves garlic
4 green onions
handful of fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped, roasted peanuts
lime wedges for serving
oil for cooking
1. Boil the pasta according to package directions, I usually boil for 20% less time than it suggests (so 8 minutes if it says 10 – taste and see). Meanwhile whisk the fish sauce, honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sriracha, lime juice, and water together in a small bowl and set aside. Mince the garlic and shallot, slice the green onions. Lightly beat the eggs.
2. In a large pot or wok, heat 2T of oil over high heat. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes until fragrant, about a minute. Add the eggs and stir constantly to scramble the eggs – about 30 seconds. Add the cooked noodles, green onions, and chicken, then toss the mixture together. Pour the sauce over the top and allow it all to cook together for a few minutes.
3. Chop the cilantro and peanuts for garnish. Serve warm with cilantro, peanuts, and a lime wedge.